Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Ohio and Erie Canal

On July 8, 1998 the research team surveyed an area of the CVNRA near the Canal Road Visitor’s Center and discovered that the Canal had recently been drained for construction purposes. A large number of dead Pyganodon grandis, and few remaining live individuals, as well as live Toxolasma parvus, were found in the drained bed north of the Visitor’s Center.
The canal would have been extremely difficult to survey under normal conditions. Forty-four shells were returned to the laboratory and a troop of Boy Scouts counted 862 shells in a 1.5 mile stretch of the drained Canal. This information allows us to estimate that there are thousands of live mussels in the flooded portion of the canal.
Most mussels had just recently died, but some were still alive in small pools. Due to quick action from Park officials, the Canal was reflooded and the remaining living mussels were rescued.